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is early enough to gather in the most of
the old-time fellows, and the last being
now 30 years agone, would allow its aver-
age population to ripen to that mature
age when ability is bound to assert itself,
if ever. Then I average the census of
these three periods, and strike a per cent-
age of the whole for each state. Then L
make also a percentage of "ability" for
each state from Mr. Lodge's figures and
here is the result, comparatively exhibited:

Pc. of Pop.

Pc. Ability.



19. —

New York,


18. +



13- —






• 7-3 —




New Hampshire,



New jersey.





South Carolina,












North Carolina,


2. 1

Rhode Island,


2. +



1.4 +











1. 85

■5 —













Texas, '

New England,
Middle States,
Southern States
Western States,

Pc. of Pop.







Pc. Of Pop.



Pc. Ability.
■4 +

•3 +


I —

I —





Pc. Ability



Judging by these statistics, therefore,
you will perceive that ability prevails
relatively threefold to populrtion in New
England, and about one and one-third to
one in the middle states, while with little
more than one-half to the unit of popula-
tion in the southern, and scarce more than
one-fifth in that broad section which
claims our rising generation, the western
states. And to bring the comparison as
close as state boundaries, we must credit
Connecticut and Rhode Island full four to
one, and Massachusetts almost five to one,
which intimates that Mr. Lodge must
have had in mind a different basis of
computation from mine, and probably
that of present population. New York,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont
exhibit ratios of ability to population,
each one and one-third to one, with New
Hampshire full two to one, while Maine
is but little more than even, and Virginia,
the ancient mother of statesmen, just
"holds her own" relatively to the number
of her sons. Living in a state that owns
just no ability at all, except the "young
crowd," which though in the "lexicon of
youth " has not yet achieved that of biog-
raphy, it is some little consolotion to find
that Ohio, an early western state, pos-
sessed of fortunate politicians, has had
nearly three times as many people as
brain demonstrations. Indiana and Illi-
nois naturally came in further down in the
order of development, the former with

less than one-fourth, and the latter with
but one-ninth of its quota of brains that
have made any show in the world — of
Appleton's Cyclopedia and Cabot Lodge's
tabulations. We might chase these ratios'
a good deal further, but is it really worth

Turn now to another branch of this
important subject, the special avenues or
channels vv'hich ability has adopted in
which to exhibit itself. The statistics here
are quite full. Naturally we find that the
"learned professions together with poli-
tics " and war are largely the open sesames
to fame in connection with a full page
portrait. Here is the tabulation :

Statesmen 2 190

Clergy • • • 2164

Soldiers 1892

The Navy 482

Lawyers 15°°

Physicians 859

Literature 2051

Art 462

Science 5^4

Education • 586

Business 559

Philanthropy 221

Pioneers and Explorers 1-83

Inventors . . . •. .... 169

Engineers i74

Architects 43

Musicians 82

Actors 102

Total 14243

Without taking up your time in detailed
analysis, let me call your attention to a
few remarkable data in this tabulation of
first quality of brain in action. The
"learned professions" alone — lawyers,
doctors and the clergy, have supplied
almost one-third of the whole ability of
the nation, and if you reckon with these
"them hterary fellers," with the "educa-
tional" contingent you have just one-half,
without classifying the " scientists " in the
category. Again, the statesmen class
furnishes a full one-seventh, aud the army
and navy combined another equal share.
Then comes the "business " interest with
less than four per cent. — to do business
on, followed by "philanthropy" with



hardly one-half so many, which goes to
prove that this proves hardly so good a
business as "business" itself. The art-
ists, architects, actors and musicians, even
if lumped together with all their oddly
developed brains aggregate only about
two per cent, of the whole. But now,
the most curious thing about it is that of
all the farmers, who embrace a goodly
share of the population of this country,
famed for its generally diversified intelli-
gence, there is 'not a single, solitary ex-
ample of "ability" — according to Mr.
Lodge. In view of this fact, it is no
Avonder that they have begun to exhibit
restlessness, and organize "alliances."
It was about time that, having no individ-
ual ability, they should band themselves
together to utilize the fractional ability of
an exceedingly large denominator by
massing the numerators until they should
amount to an appreciable value. It would
be only human that they should object to
this unconscionable monopoly of brains.
And then again, the mechanics and crafts-
men of all kinds, with the exception of a
few "inventors," who may indeed be no
"craftsmen " at all, is it possible that this
large class has owned no demonstrated
ability, no "knights" of "labor," not
even any captains of industry? Taking
the farmers, the mechanics, and the man-
facturing industries all together, and we
have perhaps over three-foui-ths of the entire
population of the country, and no ability
whatever, while the few thousand "states-
men, scholars, heroes and divines" pos-
sess it all. Verily this proves too much.
The great majority of the forefathers of
these "elect" came from the farm and the
workshop, and if there be anything at all
in the common ideas of heredity some of
this "ability" must have descended from
such hornyhanded progenitors.

And now in drawing toward a close, let
me confess that I do not have any great
confidence in the geographic distribution
of brains, or rather, I do have confidence
in their general distribution, and very
little in the idea that they are mainly

monopolized by any favored first-families,
or restricted to any confined area or even
section of our country. " Ability" which
is possibly the product of culture and the
result of favoring conditions may perhaps
find its habitat oftenest near the chosen
seat of that culture. It might not be well
for me even to attempt the controversion
of Mr. Lodge's theory in this regard. But
let us differentiate a little. The above law
may hold good for ability but will scarce
apply to brains, though you may term them
the raw material of which ability is the
the finished product. Brains are the
indigenous plant, the volunteer wheat,
springing up apparently where it had not
been sown except by the wind of heaven,
or dropped except by the birds of the air.
Ability is the corn that has been drilled in
and cultivated. Brains are to be culti-
vated for the sake of the possessor and
the world about their owner — not with the
expectation that any extraordinary en-
dowment or acquired enhancement shall
certainly be transmitted. From the ex-
treme optimistic theory of biologic evo-
lution formerly prevailing, the belief that
heredity has been and is the great factor,
that "like always produces its like " plus
all the modified structure and personally
acquired characteristics of the parent, we
have now swing around to the other extrem-
ity of the arc, and stand doubting whether
the acquired characteristic of the parent
is ever transmitted to the child.

Brains in the mass are undoubtedly the
"unearned increment" of heredity, but
what they are or shall be in the individual
it is almost impossible to determine or
even prophesy, from the moUusk to a
Milton or a Michael Angelo, the great
gulf that has somehow been safely crossed
evidences the immense energy of devel-
opment though exercised through countless
eons of time. But where are now the
Miltons, the Goethes, the Washingtons,
that shall carry forward the achievement
of their ancestors. No children, or weak
descendants of greatness, seems to be a
general law. In the plan of heredity, what



has been transmitted of that restless energy
and power of brain that compassed the
" Waverly " romances, and how much of
the Byronic poetic faculty descended

'•Ada, sole daughter of my house and heart."

It would seem that the human race is
so constituted that great mentality cannot
long be continued in one family. It may
last for a few generations, but like the soil
which exhausts through continued cropping
it becomes inevitable that it shall lie fallow
for a season, if it ever gather again the
elements of fertility.

It has long been remarked that great
brains have a tendency to "run out" (as
the phrase goes) — to sink down and flow
into hidden recesses of unmarked descent;
or to lapse and merge into the broad sea
of undistinguished humanity. Through all
the ages past the great names of history
have been rising like mountain peaks from
that sea of obscurity, only to sink again
and be submerged through their descend-
ants. It is a law of nature that these
cannot stay permanently glorified solely
through the virtues of their ancestors :

'• What can ennoble fools, or knaves, or cowards?

Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards,"

But greatness, though not perpetuated
through heredity shall not be wholly lost
to the world in any age:

Like must come from its like. V^ell then.

From whence spring the world's surprises?
Proin the lowermost strata of men.

A Shakespeare, or Lincoln uprises.

Imperfect ! Yes tainted with earth.

As humanity may be and must
Yet bearing, with lowliest birth.

A spark of divine from the dust,

Lowell says "it is rather to be noted
how little is known of the parentage of
the men of the first magnitude, how often
they seem in some way foundlings, and
how early an apparently adverse destiny
begins the culture of those who are to
master great intellectual or spiritual ex-
eriences." And so the eternal cycle keeps
its round !

And though heredity be not the direct
and ready road that men have imagined,
yet civilization advances, man improves
in knowledge, power, worth. It is no
"hop, skip and jump" gymnastic progress
however; it is the slow, steady advance of
the beating, and receding, wave upon the
shore; it is the persistent, conquering step
of the mighty army through the unknown
forests and guarded defiles of an enemy's
country; now marching, now fighting, now
falling back awhile upon its reserves, but
always ultimately slowly winning its way
onward, onward.

B. W. Woodward.


^N this essay I purpose to speak only
c<$9 o^ such forms of labor as have fallen
under my observation while passing
through diiferent countries across the
Atlantic and Mediterranean. Neither
will I permit my pen to do more than
dwell upon that aspect of labor which is
commonly understood by that word, —
that of the working classes, — those who
till the soil or pursue mechanical or in-
dustrial employments.

Among the first impressions one re-
ceives while traveling abroad is the
poverty of the laboring classes. Accus-
tomed in this country, as we are, to see
the laborers well housed, well clad, Avith
wholesome tables and owning gardens filled
with nutritious vegetables, and with short
days of severe work, the sight of men and
women toiling from rosy dawn to the
shadows of night, from twelve to sixteen
hours hard work, living, many of them, in,



cheerless, one-roomed houses, with hard
bread, no meat, scant clothing, saving bits
of twigs for fuel, only suggests painful con-
trasts. Take this picture of poverty by a-
recent English writer. ''Perusal of the
evidence given to the labor commis-
sion before the sweating commission
would be of incalculable value to those
who do not realize the great depth of
poverty in which the people are steeped,
the poverty that narrows and degrades
the lives of all the people subject to these
low conditions." The English writer thus
outlines the misery of his land, "In
picturing the poverty of England, I would
suggest to my readers to imagine all the
poverty of the country to be gathered to-
gether in a great city of five millions of
men and women, weltering in the slums of
life, a seething mass of humanity, without
hope on earth, without hope of heaven ;
to imagine for a moment a city like Lon-
don, without its banks, buildings, magnifi-
cent streets and houses, its wealth, its
splendor, without all these things, but
with a low straggling city of slum streets
filled with ragged children, disheartened
men, disheartened women, where disease
and suffering and pestilence are bred, and
childhood, youth, manhood, and woman-
hood all pass without a ray of divine light,
without nobleness, without comfort. To
imagine such a disconsolate city must
move the heart of all thinkers, and yet in
our little island such a great number of
human beings are existing in this state.
To imagine it in the aggregate, to imag-
ine our beautiful London as a city of all
this misery; then men may measure, men
may understand, the extent of this great
social fester, robbing heaven of men and
women, robbing the earth of men and
women, for no life can be developed in
the fullness of its meaning while it
breathes in this putrid atmosphere, and is
narrowed in by bare walls, where hunger
is faced every day, and empty cupboards,
bare backs and bare bones is the heritage
of the submerged seventh. Even this
does not picture, neither does it represent

the full extent of our national degreda-
tion." Standing in Trafalgar square, or
at nightfall watching the hungry faces
that peer into the shop windows filled with
bread, and cakes on the stand, one can
see how utterly woeful is the lot of hun-
dreds of men and women who throng the
streets of London, or gather in its public

On the continent the conditions are not
much improved, and in the streets of
Constantinople, Smyrna, Damascus, Jeru-
salem, and Cairo, scenes of want and
beggary harrow the feeling and sadden
the heart. Next to the aspect of general
want one is surprised to see the vast
numbers of women engaged in hard,
laborious work ; especially is this observ-
able on the continent of Europe. In
Egypt there is an absence of women from
the fields quite as marked as is their pres-
ence among the toilers north of the
Mediterranean. At Munich I saw women
working with shovel, pick and hoe on the
railroad track. In Berne Women saw
wood and do all sorts of heavy drudgery.
It is a common sight in Dresden to see
women helping their dogs to haul carts
laden with produce to the market. In
Italy the cultivation of crops, hoeing corn
and potatoes, hauling grain and other
laborious work is done by women, while in
parts of Germany, during harvest time,
two women to one man are seen in the
fields. In Palestine nearly all the severe
work seemed to be done by the females of
the families. They carry immense jars of
water on their heads from the wells or
springs, sometimes more than one-half a
mile, to their houses, while the men sit in
sun and smoke their nargiles. But at the
hotels, the waiters and servants are all

Another strange sight to an American is
the large number of persons employed to
do any work. On the plain of Esdraelon
I stopped my horse and counted over one
hundred ox teams drawing plows, while an
army of women and children were in sight,
pulling up thorns and noxious weeds.



Squads of from ten to twenty harvesters
may be seen in Saxony in small fields,
where in this country only the reaper and
two or more men to shock the golden
sheaves would be noticed. There is a
strange absence of all labor-saving ma-
chines. On the banks of the Tiber I
passed a field of grain in which over
seventy-five prisoners under guard of
armed mounted soldiers were gathering
the over-ripe wheat. In Andalusia and on
the banks of Guadalquivir hundreds of
women were busy cutting the grain, haul-
ing it on primitive carts to the smooth
earth threshing floors, where numerous
spans of mules were being driven over the
straw, tramping out the wheat; the pro-
cess cuts the straw into chaff, which is
tossed in the wind, and then the berries
are separated. In Goshen, of ancient as
well as present fertility, the same plethora
of workmen is seen. The alfalfa is cut
with a bent knife, — a sort of small
sickle, — a handful at a time, and the
laborer is down on his knees while pursu-
ing his task.

Another thing that attracts the attention
in Europe is the perfect roads, and the
narrow space they occupy. They are
straight, macadamized, lined on either
side by trees. Generally the eucalyptus is
the variety, as it is supposed to be anti-
malarial, while spruce and cypress some
times overshadow the highways. The av-
erage width of the road is not over fifteen
feet, and every blade of grass clear up to
the macadam is cut and saved. The
Kansas road, forty or more feet wide,
would amaze a Frenchman or German.
In Spain the roads are much poorer, often
nothing more than a trail, and in Egypt
there are no highways for vehicles outside
the cities, and one fine road from Cairo
to the pyramid. of Gizeh. This road was
^built by the Khedive on the visit of the
Prince of Wales, so that he could ride to
the hoary wonder in a carriage. But
generally camel and donkey trails are all
one sees in the way of roads in the land of
the Pharaoh; and on camel and donkey back

are carried to market sugar cane, alfalfa,
huge bags of straw and chai¥, poultry and
young goats. This much in the way of
general observations.

As it will be impossible in this paper to
deal with the conditions of labor in the
various countries I visited, I select a few
of more than passing interest. Tangiers
is the seaport and principal town of
Morocco. In its streets are motley
crowds from Fez, Soudan, and various
places in the interior. I was^there on
market day, and the incoming crowds
bringing with them the products of the
gardens and fields gave a very good idea
of the character of these swarthy pro-
ducers. The market place was outside
the city walls which run down to the sea.
There were foot-sore, small, stunted beeves,
puny calves, ill-conditioned sheep and
lambs, and poultry in large coops. The
grain for sale was in small bags, and the
varieties of produce were quite numerous —
beans, peas, lettuce, lentils, dates and figs,
small potatoes and poor vegetables. The
workmen of the place are of a stolid type.
We stopped at a shop to see the process
of shoeing a donkey. One man held the
animal by the head, another held the foot
on a block, while a third, sitting on a
stool, leisurely nailed on the iron plate.
The workman's tools were clumsy, the
nails large and heavy, and the shoe very
awkwardly hammered out. The civiliza-
tion of the place, its industries, and its
modes of life carry one back a good many
centuries. Perhaps the most interesting
thing in the market was the snake charm-
ers. The power of these men over the
long, slim, reptiles, which they carry in
bags and let out one at a time, was very
remarkable. There were a good many
slight-of-hand tricksters, with crowds gath-
ered around them, and it was plain that
not one-half of the people who were
poorly clad, only enough rags upon them to
cover their persons, were doing more than
exist. The country manufactures exposed
for sale — saddles, bridles, ox yokes, were
all of the rudest and most primitive sort.



There was a large negro from Soudan,
with a physique of great dimensions, who
lived only on dates. And this simplicity
of food, the warm climate and the possi-.
bility of living with little work reduces
the labor problem to its smallest size.
These people upon whom we have been
looking for a moment are far down in the
scale of civilization, hence their wants are
few and easily supplied.

In the east, on the banks of the Nile,
we find the laboring classes somewhat
more advanced, and their daily toils are
not quite so primitive as in Morocco.
The fellahin of Egypt are a patient,
plodding race. They seem to belong to
the soil; are dark, swarthy, rather slim,
and have astonishing endurance. They
are ignorant; there were no schools for
them, until recently, under the English
rule, a step in that direction has been
taken. The lands of the Delta, adapted
to cotton and sugar-cane are worth about
two hundred dollars per acre, while o.ther
lands not so easily irrigated are worth
about seventy-five dollars per acre. Some
of these lands are still owned in small
patches by the peasantry, but immense
tracts of the most fertile soil are in the
ownership of government officials or for-
eigners. The tillage, of course, of these
great estates and that of the small hold-
ings differs, the former being more modern
and more systematic. Much of the time
of the peasantry is consumed in irrigating
the land. This is a great work. The
over-flow of the Nile would be of little
service were not its alluvial-freighted wa-
ters retained in long canals and small
ponds. The receding waters are held in
check by head-gates, or banks of earth.
It is these supplies that are trailed out
over the plains by the fellahin. A very
picturesque sight to the stranger is the
process of raising the water to the level
of the plain. The peasants, with only a
single garment on their persons, bare
footed, bare legged, lift the water by
means of a water-tight basket from one
pool to another above it until the proper

height is attained, thence it is carried in
small earth ditches which continually
branch out until the water touphes and
fructifies each part of the field. There
are two methods of lifting the water that
are quite simple, yet interesting. Two
fellahin hold the opposite ends of a rope,
in the center of which is a water-tight
willow basket, holding several gallons of
water. They swing this basket by a dex-
terous movement into the waters of the
canal, and empty the basket into a pool
or opening in the bank. Another couple
of fellahin in like manner swing the water
up another height, and this process is
repeated until the level above is reached.
The swinging of the basket goes on in a
sort of rythmic motion very pleasing to
behold. Then, too, there is the old fash-"'
ioned well sweep, which is easier for the
peasant, but not so rapid as the other.
These laborious operations give the com-
mon laborers of the country plenty to do.
The tilling of the soil is often picturesque
also. A camel may be seen drawing the
small plows of the country — a tool as
primitive as those used in Mexico or Cen-
tarl America. Sometimes a yoke of buf-
falo perform the same service. These
buffalo are not much like our wild droves
of the prairie, they are black, almost
hairless, ill-shaped, and have hard, llat
horns that lie back on their necks. They
are a useful animal wherever there is
muddy land to plow or till. I found them
in the wet places of the Delta, and on the
banks of Lake Merom. They are very
docile and easily managed. These ani-
mals, for plowing, and donkeys for riding,
are the farmers' best friends.

The climate of Egypt permits the sow-
ing and ripening of grain to go on the
year around. There were fields of alfalfa
in blossom and others just opening their
leaves. No sooner is one crop matured
than another is planted. On the edge of
the Lybian desert, where the winds are
often fierce, the young maize, cucumbers,
onions and other vegetables are protected
by rows of thickly planted stocks of cane.



The same mode of protection may be seen
in parts of France. One of the favorite
articles of food among the fellahin is what
they, call the cucumber ; but it is much

Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 26 of 62)